50 NOT OUT! - Jamie McDonald
The teams took about 25 minutes to digest their Christmas dinner. Chelsea were comfortable after the Mata goal. David Luiz played a vital role as a midfielder.
The game started slow, almost as if both teams had had a big holiday dinner the day before. Chelsea, though, would turn it on around the 25th minute with David Luiz playing a vital role in almost all Chelsea attack. But it took a magical strike from Juan Mata to give the lead to the Blues. A very composed second half followed. Chelsea controlled the ball well and protected the narrow 1-0 lead, which was never really threatened by Norwich until the added time.
- Juan Mata: This was the little Spanish magician's 50th Premier League appearance for Chelsea, an incredible achievement for a player who had just joined the team last season. And what an important player he has become! Not only creating chances but also finishing them off like a BOSS. Legend in the making.
- David Luiz: Against Villa, he was okay; alongside, Frank Lampard, who likes to go forward, Luiz stayed back and played a conservative role. But with a defensively responsible John Obi Mikel beside him in midfield, Luiz's attacking ability shone through. Almost every good attacking chance for Chelsea in the first half had the Brazilian Happiness Factory right in the thick of it. Brilliant!
- On the flanks: Oscar very quiet on the left where he started; aside from winning a few freekick, Oscar did very little. Moses did much better on the other side, and even better when switched to the left later -- very direct and aggressive.
- I love cheeky free-kicks. Too bad Mark Bunn was paying attention!
- Aside from growing his highlights out (OMFG!!!!), Fernando Torres did very little in this game.
- Mikel, who is on four yellow cards, avoided a booking, thus keeping himself available for selection for the Everton game. YAY!
- Nathan Ake gets a bit of game time. Lovely!